Archive | August, 2012

A disappearance every five days in post-war Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy WSWS On 21st at 2.31pm, August 2012, 32 year old Vasanthamala sent a sms from her mobile to her relatives saying she had been taken by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Vavuniya. Around 8pm the same night, she made short phone calls to her mother and father, and said she was alright. […]

Open letter to Mark Davis, presenter of SBS Dateline on ‘Sri Lanka’s New Wave’

[Editors note: Watch SBS Dateline’s Sri Lanka’s New Wave, broadcast first in Australia on 28 August 2012, here.] Dear Mark, I am intensely troubled by the tenor of your report on Sri Lankan Tamil refugees on today’s Dateline. The picture you painted of the country doesn’t accord with any of the accounts I’ve heard, nor with […]

A Child of Apollo Salutes His First Hero: Remembering Neil Armstrong

Apollo 11 bootprint When Neil Armstrong took that first ’small step’ on to the Moon, at 10.56 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) on 20 July 1969, a quarter of humanity — following it live on radio or TV — collectively held their breath. In the next moment, our various divides disappeared…at least for a brief […]

Rural entrepreneurship in post-war Sri Lanka: Jobs for youth and ICTs

Her day job aside, Sandya Salgado is a Director of the Foundation for Advancing Rural Opportunity and approached Groundviews recently to talk with us about the organisation’s model for rural entrepreneurship in particular, and the prospects for BPO writ large in post-war Sri Lanka. In this brief conversation, we first talk about FARO’s BPO model […]

Public Perceptions of the LLRC in Trincomalee

Photo credit JDS President Mahinda Rajapaksha appointed the Lessons learnt and Reconciliation commission in May 2010 and after 18 months of sittings, the commission submitted its report to the President in November 2011. The report is not only about the effects of war but also about the need to depoliticize state institutions and foster good governance. […]

‘Save State Education’ in Sri Lanka: Photos and video from FUTA rally in Colombo

Image courtesy Vikalpa As noted in the mainstream media, “thousands of university teachers, undergraduates and trade unionists marched to the Hyde Park yesterday, accusing the government of turning a blind eye on their grievances. Lecturers representing all universities in the country participated in yesterday’s protest organised by the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA).” Vikalpa […]

Mediated: Portraying hard data on Sri Lanka through art

Mediated, an exhibition around a new aesthetic that seeks to communicate constitutional theory, hard data from economics and social polling and writing on religious identity through compelling art, runs till the 15th of September at the Saskia Fernando Art Gallery. As noted on the exhibition’s website, four individuals – a researcher, an economist, a constitutional theorist […]

Do women play a role in Sri Lanka’s ‘reconciliation’?: Gender dynamics in the transition from war to peace

A mother displaying the photographs of her sons who are missing during the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) session in Trincomalee, December, 3-5, 2010. Photo courtesy Centre for Human Rights Introduction In order to understand the ‘role’ of women in such a vital process of social transition, we have to understand the place of women […]

Science and Politics of Mass Kidney Failure in Sri Lanka

Much of Sri Lanka’s Dry Zone is currently grappling with a drought caused by the delayed Monsoon. This is a double whammy for residents in several districts who have been engulfed by another ‘slow emergency’ for two decades: mass scale kidney failure affecting large numbers. Diabetes or high blood pressure can lead to kidney failure. […]

Re-imagining Lakshman Kadirgamar in Contemporary Sri Lanka: A Different Reading

From 2003, Lakshman Kadirgamar addressing a press conference with the Mahinda Rajapaksa (before he was President) and Sarath Amunugama are also seen. Photo via Ever since his brutal assassination in 2005, those of us who have admired Lakshman Kadirgamar have often imagined what Sri Lanka would have been like, had he remained at the […]

The struggle to go home in post war Sri Lanka: The story of Puthukudiruppu

Rajini (pseudonym) was amongst the ten women we met in a church in Vavuniya district about a week ago. At the time she and two of her children were living in Kadirgama camp in Menik Farm. The women and their families were displaced since 2008 and were prevented from going home to Puthukudiruppu. Some of […]